Should You Follow an Acid-Alkaline Diet?

by in Diets & Weight Loss, May 24, 2013

acid-alkaline diet
Should you follow an acid-alkaline diet? This question was the hot topic at the last cocktail party I attended. The answer, however, isn’t as straightforward as it’s made out to be.

What’s the pH Diet?
The theory behind this plan is that if you consume loads of acid-producing foods it will lead to a metabolic imbalance. The body will try very hard to regain its equilibrium, making you sick in the process.

The diet claims that if you eat more alkaline and less acid-forming foods, it will help reduce inflammation and increase your resistance to disease.

According to the diet, you should be eating 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association determined how different foods affect the urine’s acidity. The results found that the most acid-forming foods included poultry, fish, dairy products, meat, caffeine, sugar and salt. Grains were found to be slightly acid forming. The most alkaline-forming foods were fruits and vegetables.

What the Research Shows
Under normal conditions your cells and blood maintain a pretty neutral pH of about 7.4 in order to survive. Your body does a good job neutralizing acidic and alkaline foods, making sure it always maintains the correct pH. Although you may hear folks claim that food can change the body’s pH, the biochemical reactions occurring are VERY complex (college biochemistry, anyone?).

To touch on some of the science, studies do suggest that if you overdose on acid-forming foods, your body will need to release minerals in order to neutralize it. If your diet is low on these minerals, it will have to delve into minerals stored in your bones. This, in turn, can affect bone health and may be a risk factor in osteoporosis (a disease that causes brittle bones in older folks). Furthermore, a 2008 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that an alkaline diet, with plenty of fruits and veggies, helped older folks retain their muscle mass.

To make things even more complicated, the claim that high-protein foods are most acid-producing isn’t necessarily true. Protein helps the body get rid of acid. In addition, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that plant proteins have a more protective effect than animal proteins (like chicken and meat)—so it’s really the type of protein that matters.

The Bottom Line: There’s really a lack of strong scientific research to back up the health claims being made about eating a primarily alkaline-based diet. However, many of the studies examining the effect certain foods have on your body’s mineral balance do show that fruits and veggies can be beneficial. So if you’re looking to become healthier, start by adding more fruits and veggies to your diet.

TELL US: Have you tried the Acid-Alkaline Diet?

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Comments (19)

  1. Watsoninsan says:

    Hi, To healthy your body you should be self care and drink filtered water……………………………………..Thank you.

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  2. stefanstajner says:

    The easiest way is to eat a PH balanced diet is to just eat a serving of veggies with every meal ;)

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  7. This graph is designed only as a common information to alkalizing and acidifying meals.

  8. grandmaW says:

    Basically the pro-alkalizing diet "professionals" want you to go vegan and cut out dairy, sugar and most fats, a bit over the top. I know someone who was a vegan, also on a Gluten free diet. She was stick thin, not much energy and pale, not too healthy looking in my opinion. I say moderation is key with anything. I serve two veggies with dinner (mostly chicken) and reduced the amount of starches. Cut beef down to twice a month, I don't drink soda or processed fruit juices. By doing this I lost 11 lbs and am down to 114, don't want to lose anymore. So I'm not going to follow a strict alkalizing diet, but use common sense. PS stop advertising in this blog.

    • ALKALINE UR BODY 13 says:

      Vegan diet should not be blamed for others who don't know what they are doing when going on a vegan diet. I am a vegan, I don't look pale, nor too thin and I am very healthy. Being a vagan, or a meat eater does not qualify anyone as being HEALTHY at all. For example ALL meat eaters are not healthy!! It all depends what a person is putting and not putting in their diet. MILK, SUGARS and DAIRY/ MEAT all feed bad fungus, bacteria and make your body a host to PARASITES bringing your body to an acidic form. The key is eating as many RAW fruits and veggies daily. Lots of water *natural SPRING water) and right salt and oils. You can add grains and Lentil and chickpeas to your diet as well. The KEY is ALKALINE foods! No preservatives and bake your own BREADS, COOKIES and etc! Being disciplined is KEY! Now as far as that girl you spoke about, that is her and her decisions, not ALL vegans choices. Don't categorize all VEGANS under one persons efforts, cause not ALL meat eaters eat the same so why do all vegans have to eat the same. Peace be with you. Nothing but LOVE being spread!

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